Thomas Kunkel

Author, Journalist, Educator

An author, journalist and educator, Thomas Kunkel is the seventh president of St. Norbert College. He joined the college in 2008.

During his tenure Kunkel has overseen the construction and renovation of $100 million in campus facilities and infrastructure, including the Gehl-Mulva Science Center, Michels Commons, Schneider Stadium, the Mulva Library, Gries Hall, the Ariens Family Welcome Center, Todd Wehr Hall and the Cassandra Voss Center. 

He has also presided over the introduction of the Master of Business Administration and Master of Liberal Studies graduate programs; a groundbreaking partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin; the adoption of a new General Education curriculum; a successful “Full Ahead” fundraising campaign; and the inception of “Sport and Society in America,” a major biennial academic conference sponsored jointly by the college and the Green Bay Packers. Under Kunkel’s leadership, the college has experienced record enrollment and continues to move upward in national rankings of liberal arts colleges.

Before coming to St. Norbert College, Kunkel served for eight years as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where he also served as president of the American Journalism Review and as editor and director of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper.

Kunkel spent much of his early career in newspaper management, working for such organizations as the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, the New York Times and the Cincinnati Post. 

He is the author of six books, most recently “Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker,” recently published by Random House. His other works include “Genius in Disguise” (1995), the critically acclaimed biography of The New Yorker’s founding editor, Harold Ross; “Enormous Prayers: A Journey into the Priesthood” (1998), an ethnographic portrait of 28 Catholic priests; and “Letters from the Editor” (2000), a compilation and analysis of Ross’ letters.

Kunkel was born and raised in Evansville, Ind. He earned his B.A. in political science at the University of Evansville in 1977 and his master’s degree in humanities from UE in 1979. He and his wife, Debra, have four grown daughters.